So this is what modern pop perfection sounds like from an American. Each sound is subtly layered to pop radio perfection and better than the one before it. By the time you get to the closing bar – you’ve already hit replay and just kick back and enjoy what could be among the best underground pop tracks of the year from the USA. So which track am I talking about? Well, its “Heartbeat”, by Atlanta, GA based artist Maxwell Aden. A once broke college kid, who has progressed to a co-sign by RAab Stevenson – coach and producer for Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Dave Mathews, more – Maxwell is aiming straight for mainstream success. The song has lyrical and thematic depth that is offset by melodic height in the form of Aden stratospheric vocal agility.
Maxwell Aden’s easy-listening tune seem carefully calculated to attain a lavish degree of success, and his pursuit of it is meticulous. “Heartbeat” evolves into a beacon of artful expression triangulated for maximum exposure, and ready to dominate airwaves everywhere.
Impeccably produced and catchy as an echoing handclap, it elicits bursts of pleasure and elation, caught in some earworm region between the soothingly mellow and the genuinely exciting. It’s resoundingly finely tuned, with piles of sonic effects and sweet harmonies. Musically the song is stellar, a deeply melodious pop tune with a shiny surface, a rippling synth and bass undercurrent, and a shimmering piano to top it off.
While a lack of insight seems to afflict the music of many of Maxwell Aden’s contemporaries, he writes and performs from the heart. It’s impossible not to be completely hooked on the infectious strings which opens the track and appears throughout. Most importantly, the song allows Maxwell to unapologetically be himself: “I was caught up in your heartbeat, losing myself, can’t sleep. Don’t know what you do to me.”
It’s clear that Aden is ready to show the world his vulnerabilities through his music here. Despite the song being a mid-tempo offering, Aden’s feelings is very much evident and before the final chorus, you can hear this voice rise and fall consumed with emotion.
“Heartbeat” also showcases Maxwell Aden’s vocal range wonderfully. The song is laced with an EDM vibe thanks to the dynamic synthesizers and electronic influences, but also showcases strong elements of RnB throughout. Aden’s crystal clear resonating voice, complements the music perfectly, resulting in a track which is very pleasing to the ear.
Considering the subject matter, the song could have been a brooding, very slow-burning ballad, but instead Maxwell has ensured that “Heartbeat” is an earworm offering which will make you want to singalong. It is an infectious offering which is reminiscent of the classic, driving, mid-tempo ready radio boyband songs which have now become a rarity.
There is no doubt that Maxwell Aden’s has put his heart and soul into his debut solo single and this leads to a definite maturity in his sound, both lyrically and melodically. The instrumentation throughout is particularly striking, in addition to Maxwell’s vocals which really get the chance to shine during “Heartbeat”.
Now that it’s no secret that Maxwell Aden is a great singer and songwriter, we’ll just need to wait and watch, as Aden pushes his creative boundaries, taking his sensational talent to new heights.